Sunday, March 20, 2011

Must Eat: Gardena Ramen

We've always enjoyed ramen, but really developed a love for it after trying the versions at Ippudo and Momofuku in NYC.  In fact, we love Ippudo and Momofuku so much that we would make it a point to make it to at least one, if not both, every time we used to visit the city. 

Since moving to LA, we have tried a couple places, but still had not found a place that we really liked. Yesterday, we happen to be running errands in South Bay, and decided to give Gardena Ramen a try after reading through numerous ramen reviews from yelp and  

We are really glad we did. J says that it is his favorite in LA. I'd have to agree. While there are more popular spots (on our to try list!) for ramen in Torrance/Gardena, this one appealed to us because of it's no frills, simplistic approach to ramen. Rameniac called it "Real Ramen...The best ramen in Southern California."

We pulled into a strip mall, and entered an unassuming little restaurant with booths and only another couple. We saw only one man, who we are guessing is the ramen chef and owner of the store.  We knew from reviews that there was a very limited menu (3 items - 2 types of ramen and gyoza as an appetizer - there may be a 4th of curry but if so, it's only advertised in japanese)   

These were a pleasant and light appetizer. Not particularly remarkable, but that's not why we came. 

J ordered the Shoyu Ramen. The shoyu broth was complex, soothing, yet light. The noodles were perfectly al dente, a nice thickness and very delicious. For more details about the process of making the soup base (arguably the most important component to ramen), please visit the link above to rameniac's blog. 

I had the Miso Ramen. This one does not appear to be as popular among foodie fans (the shoyu is so good, so it appears that most people stick with that choice!) but I really enjoyed it.  The flavor is not quite as subtle as with the Shoyu soup base, but it was nicely balanced and very comforting. 

This is a solid ramen spot.  It is simple yet very very satisfying. For $6.50 per bowl, the ramen makes for a filling and delicious meal.

Gardena Ramen
1840 W 182nd St
Torrance, CA. 90504
Mon-Sun 11:30-2:30 pm
Mon-Sun 5- 9pm

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